Being a native Southerner, Terry loves crawfish. They’re hard to get around here– being landlocked is a problem, and folks just aren’t quite familiar with the little bugs. In fact, though I’ve had crawfish in dishes, I’ve never been to a boil. Kajun Krawfish is out to bring crawfish to Cincinnati, and has done several crawfish boils at Neon’s Unplugged. Terry and I, along with our friends Monika and Jeremy (a native Texan), tried it out on Sunday.
If you go, get there early, as the place gets packed. We didn’t have to wait too long for our crawfish. The rule of thumb is two pounds per person (though I’ll bet you could eat more), and last week they ran $8 a pound. They’re cooked in cajun spices, lemon, and other secret ingredients “Krawfish King” Cue Cao throws into his bubbling cauldron of crawfish. In that price, you get a piece of corn and potatoes, too. His crawfish are live and wiggling before they go into the bubbling, seasoned soup, unlike many places that use frozen crawfish. It’s not quite the same.
If you’re wondering what a crawfish tastes like, it tastes like what it looks like: lobster. Spicy, messy lobster. Terry, the crawfish expert of the two of us, really liked the seasoning, and thought it was a good approximation of a Louisiana-style boil. I really liked the ones that were perfectly cooked, but as Cao only has one cauldron of crawfish (and not two), in order to accomodate orders, some get left in longer than others, which makes them vary in doneness from perfect to mushy. The only improvement would be to have two pots running at one time to provide some more consistency in texture.
Monika didn’t have any, but Jeremy ate a few pounds by himself, in near silence. “You’ll know I’m done when I start talking.” It took him a while to eat them, but when he was done, he had a satisfied smile. “Now that was good.”
You have one more chance to try Kajun Krawfish and Pho Lang Thang’s Banh Mi together at Neon’s on Sunday, June 19th at 5 PM. $8 a pound, and they sell until they’re gone. Oh, and be prepared to make a mess. That’s part of the fun.